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Best Hearing Protection For Superbike Racing

Earplugs For Superbike Racing

Hearing protection is a bit of a must-have for many of the high-octane motorcycle enthusiasts out there. And thankfully, there’s tons of fantastic hearing protection out there for anyone who wants it. But what is the best hearing protection for superbike racing? Well, that’s what this post is here to help you figure out in detail.

If you are watching a Superbike race live, then you know what amazing noise levels the riders are putting up. The deafening engine roar is always going to be there, and all the Metalica exhausts and V-Twins don’t mean a thing. So hearing protection is pretty much a necessity for those watching the races in person.

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But it’s not just watching these races that brings out this need. In fact, many of our greatest sportsmen out there have been known to wear different types of ear protection when they are out on their bikes. And this includes superbikes, too.

Why Use Ear Plugs For Superbike Racing?

Because ear plugs are one of the most effective methods to protect your ears from the sounds of severe motorcycle racing. So, if you have ever had a problem hearing when riding your bike or any other noisy motorcycle then you know how much of a blessing ear plugs can be.

Ear plugs work by cutting off the sound from each type of frequency. They also greatly reduce the intensity of the entire sound spectrum. Just like when you wear headphones, these offers protection from noise with an accompanying reduction in external noise. But there are a few different types as well as brands; along with several factors to keep in mind.

Types of Ear Plugs For Superbike Racing

There are 6 basic types of ear plugs that can be used for those who want to use them. These include the following:

  1. Foam Ear Plugs (usually removes 95% of sound)
  2. Silicone Ear Plugs (usually removes 99% of sound)
  3. In-the-ear / Canal Ear Plugs (usually removes 98% of sound)
  4. Canal Style Earplugs (sometimes a little easier to remove) – Semi-Oval, Circular, & Conical Sizes Available!
  5. Ear Muffs (typically will remove 99% of sound)
  6. Electronic Hearing Protection System 

These vary in price as well as volume reduction. You can also buy double protection if you want to. Double ear protection is using 2 type of ear protection - inner ear and over ear , which gives the user up to 98% of sound reduction.

How loud is a Superbike Race

When looking at hearing protection, there are two important concepts the average motorcyclist should understand. In fact, it’s very simple: the quieter you can make a loud noise, the better. And that’s because high-frequency sounds don’t really hurt your ears. It only matters how much dangerous sound they produce to your hearing health and safety.

This means that when you’re protected from 96 to 110 decibels of noise (that is a lot), you can still hear out to about 20 feet away without its effect on your hearing ever becoming an issue.

How loud is wind noise on a motorcycle?

The wind on a bike can create a problem for hearing protection as well. The wind can create air noises which are constantly making hairpin turns at the back of your ears. This creates an annoying noise where you are only getting the noise of air moving over your ear canal.

Luckily, there are different types of ear plugs that can be used to combat this issue as well. These include noise dampening covers, foam plugs, and custom-cut plugs. There are also hybrid plugs that combine the best features of all of these options for making your hearing protection last longer and providing the most benefits to you in tandem with other accessories.

Getting The Right Ear Protectors When Watching Superbike Racing

To watch a Superbike race, of course, you’re going to need the right hearing protection. It has to be able to block out enough noise while still keeping the sound at a tolerable level.

Comfort

Comfort is a HUGE factor when it comes to choosing your hearing protection. You want to make sure that your plugs fit snuggly into your ears for maximum protection from sound while still sounding good and not taking away from your overall enjoyment of the race.

Durability

Durability is another huge factor when deciding on the best type of hearing protection for superbike racing. You don’t want to drop these in a pile of sand or dirt and then have them break, because that defeats the purpose. The best ear plugs are often made of silicone and are very durable against rain, snow, and even extreme temperatures.

Portability

Portability is another important factor when it comes to the best ear plugs for superbike racing. If you are going to be traveling a long distance by plane, train, boat, or even the back of your pickup, you want your earplugs to travel with you in a small and portable container so they don’t get crushed and destroyed.

Size

Size is another important factor to look at when choosing your hearing protection for superbike racing. The best ear plugs for superbike racing are usually small and simple and won’t take up much room in your pocket or even in your pants’ front pocket.

Price

Of course, price is the big one. Everyone wants their dollar to go as far as it can when it comes to their hearing protection. Some of the best options, especially the silicone plugs, are very high in price. But if you are looking for something that you will use everyday and protect your ears from a serious amount of noise while still being comfortable to wear, then they may be worth it!

Superbike Hearing Loss Caused By 3 Things

The three things that can cause Superbike Hearing Loss are:

Decibel Level * Distance * Time

1) Decibel Level

Decibel Level is the level of noise the decibel measures. The longer and louder you are exposed to that noise, the greater your chances of developing Hearing Loss.

2) Distance

Distance refers to how far away you are from the sound source, such as a motorcycle or loud concert at a stadium. The further away you are from these sources, the more likely it is for your ears to take it easy on the noise they’re hearing and that’s a good thing.

3) Time

Time relates to how much time is spent in close proximity to the noise source. The longer you spend hearing something, the greater your chances are at developing hearing loss from the experience.

Myths about hearing - Superbikes

There are a few common myths regarding motorcycle hearing protection:

Myths 1 - Build Up A Resistance To Noise.

Not True! You lose your hearing every day whether you realize it or not. It happens every morning when you don't hear the alarm clock go off when it's time to wake up. It happens when you sit at a sound proof booth in a recording studio. It happens every time you play video games.

Myths 2 - Noise Can Hurt Me Unless Its Loud

Not True! If you're near a motorcycle, you can hear it without having to be loud. You may not be aware of it, but that sound is already hurting your ears. This is why you should never ride a motorcycle without wearing the proper hearing protection.

Myths 3 - Only Very Loud Sounds Cause Damage

Not True! Some noises can be loud yet still exposes your inner ears to safe levels of sound. Can you hear the TV at a level that's unsafe for your ears while watching a movie? Probably not. Using a TV speaker has been proved to be worse for your ears in the long run than using headphones because of the closer proximity to it.

Myths 4- My Hearing Will Come Back If I Avoid Noise

Not True! if you lose your hearing, it won't come back. This is why you should always wear proper hearing protection at all times, even when you're not near any harmful sounds. We all need to protect our hearing every day of the week and every time we hear anything.

Loud Noise Can Permanently Damage Your Hearing

If you ignore hearing protection while riding motorcycles, you could permanently lose hearing. Loud noises such as motorcycles, gunshots, fireworks, rock concerts and shooting ranges can permanently damage your hearing in as little as a few minutes. Once your ears begin to take damage from a gun being shot nearby, it's very difficult to ever recover.

Most people do not understand what damage hearing loss can cause. Even though it is minor at first, the damage quickly accumulates and it's very difficult to recover over time. Over time you can suffer from:

Defective balance

Your sense of balance deteriorates because you are no longer able to properly keep your head steady and balanced while riding a bike.

Fine motor skills

You may not be able to hold a pen properly when writing and your handwriting will suffer.

Difficulty in hearing

You can no longer comprehend conversations, music and noise around you. If you are riding a motorcycle, you will constantly have to adjust your helmet in order to keep the sound out of your ears. This causes a whole new set of problems for you. You can no longer concentrate during long rides because you are constantly having to listen for oncoming traffic or hazard sounds behind or in front of you.

Noises 

The following infographic shows a list of the various noises when you are out and about. Any noise over 70-80db over a long period of time may cause damage to your hearing. A noise of over 120dB may cause immediate harm to your ears

hearing infographic 6

Conclusion

Superbike racing is a brutal sport. The noise levels that these bikes put out are deafening and can put a huge damper on your hearing. If you're going to be near the track or in the grandstand, though, there is a lot of other people to contend with. So how do you protect your hearing?

There are two things to consider here: Keeping your ears from ringing and keeping them from perforating when you are exposed to high-decibel sounds.

You can insure against ringing in your ears by using earplugs that have an NRR of 20 or more. That will shield most of the noise and reduce the damage getting done to your ears. If you want to protect your ears from perforation, you'll have to do a couple of things. First, make sure that you're sitting in an area where there are others around so that the sound levels aren't too high.

Second, use earplugs or some form of protection for your ears and keep them in place until the race is over.

Please Note: Just because an ear defender is marked, for example, "Gunshot" - it will still cover other things, like "explosions"

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Last update on 2021-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Other Questions

How Long Is The Average Superbike Race?

3-4 hours is the average duration of a Superbike race, but some go on a lot longer. Anything above 8 hours is considered 'hardcore' racing and there are very few Superbike races that last longer than that.

What Is The Average Speed Of The Superbikes At The Races?

The average speed is around 140-150 MPH, but it can be much higher. Most of the racing happens right in the middle of a straightaway, which can make it seem like you're going faster than you really are. This speed is also very dangerous for the riders, especially when they are on fresh tires and in first place.

How Much Does It Cost To Attend A Superbike Race?

Prices can vary a lot for different racing series, so you'll have to contact a race's promoter's direct in order to get the most accurate price. Most races are free, while a few races charge an entry fee that goes towards the actual prize money.

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